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Letter to the editor

Sir,

As someone who always reads Euromoney with great interest, I was pleased to see an article about privatization in Hungary in the April 2003 issue. I was however disappointed in some aspects of its content, which do not reflect the full circumstances around recent privatization tenders in Hungary.

To be complete, I feel that the article should have mentioned two facts.

First, only two consortia put in bids for the FHB tender but one of them was later disqualified. We would like the international media to be aware that the APVrt [the privatization agency] considered this to be a very difficult situation, knowing that Concorde would then be represented in the selected consortia for both the Postabank and FHB transactions. We could indeed have cancelled the FHB tender and seriously considered doing so, but the priority for the board of directors of APVrt was rightly to move ahead with privatization without delay.

Second, there appears to be an implication that the tender audit conducted by the state audit office was ordered by the finance minister, my immediate superior, because of his doubts about the procedure. I can assure you on his behalf that this was not the case and that he ordered the audit precisely because he was fully confident in the conduct of the tender and wished to demonstrate with full transparency to some elements of the media.

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